StepOne Service expands to UT Health North Campus Tyler for patients battling addiction

Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 5:42 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - From April 2020 to April 2021, a record number of deaths from drug overdoses was recorded in the United States. According to the CDC, more than 100,00 people died of a drug overdose in the United States in the first year of the pandemic.

“Especially in light of COVID we’ve seen an uptick in new on-set substance use disorders, relapse,” said Amber Shepperd, the director of StepOne Service at UT Health East Texas.

UT Health North Campus Tyler is now offering StepOne Service℠ which is an inpatient, hospital-based three- to five-day medical detox available to adults requiring medical management of withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and/or opioids.

StepOne Service℠ was first introduced into the UT Health East Texas system in 2019 at UT Health Henderson, and it has successfully served almost 200 patients. This expansion to UT Health North Campus Tyler stems from the need in the East Texas community for additional medical detox options and location flexibility.

“It’s crucial that we have a medical detox because a lot of times, especially with alcohol withdrawal patients, they can have serious adverse effects,” Shepperd said.

Shepperd said the caregivers are in recovery themselves.

“The relatability factor from the StepOne staff is that they’ve been in this,” Shepperd said. “They’ve been in this situation, so if things come up, or if they get antsy and are thinking about leaving, often times that’s squashed pretty quickly because they’re able to talk through that with somebody else that’s been in their shoes.”

Shepperd said StepOne Service℠ and UT Health is the only East Texas Medical detox that is based in a hospital.

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